Health Care

3 Italian doctors suspended for tending ER patients on floor


Three doctors at a Naples-area hospital have been suspended for treating emergency room patients while they were lying on the floor.

Antonietta Costantini, manager of the public health district that includes Nola hospital, justified the suspensions, saying Tuesday that the physicians should have told administrators the ER had a stretcher shortage.

But Italian Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin defended the doctors as "heroes" who did the best they could under trying circumstances.

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Flu and a meningitis scare flooded Italian emergency rooms over the holiday period, when many doctors were on vacation.

The suspensions were ordered after someone uploaded a video to the internet showing doctors at Nola hospital tending to a patient lying directly on the floor and others on blankets spread out on floor.